January 24, 2013 -
The Nigerian Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, has said the federal government plans to extend e-passport facilities to Austria, Portugal among other countries with resident Nigerians, Leadership reports.
Moro made the during an inspection tour of the e-passport facility at the Nigerian High Commission.
“I am aware that many countries in Europe and America are faced with the challenge of accessing the e-passport facility,” Moro said. This is largely because we have no rolled out the e-passport in those countries due to budgetary constraint. Very soon, we are going to establish offices in some European countries like Asia, Portugal and others.”
According to the Leadership report, the minister also said that those residing in countries without Nigerian embassies would also have the opportunity to get the e-passport when immigration officers undertake the intervention exercise later this year.
As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, in 2012, Anastasia Daniel-Nwabia, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior expressed concern over increasing claims of lost e-passports by Nigerians in the Diaspora. It is assumed that by opening access to the country’s e-passport facility, the severity of this issue can be reduced.
Nigeria has been rapidly deploying biometric systems throughout the country. Most recently, hotel owners in Nigeria have come out backing the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation’s decision to install biometric workforce management systems in hotels in the country. The NTDC has introduced this mandate in an attempt to reduce the rates of crime in Nigeria’s hospitality sector.
Recently, the National Identity Management Commission in Nigeria also announced that it will begin to enroll Nigerians living abroad as part of its new identity management project.